Andy Kindler and the Panopticon

More than a few times in comedy school, people will ask me if I like comedians, typically stand-ups, about whom I know absolutely nothing.  It’s always brought up the same way: “Are you serious?  YOU haven’t heard of such and such? How can you even be in COMEDY, you IDIOT! ”

Whenever I feel ignorant about the existence or talent of some stand-up comedian I’m apparently missing out on, I have to keep reminding myself that for the six years prior to my enrollment at Humber, I was learning about the political theorists influencing rebellion in the time of Louis XVI and certainly not the comedy of Louie C.K.

What guys?  You’ve never heard of Michel Foucault?   You haven’t critically analyzed his comparison of modern society to Jeremy Benthan’s “Panopticon” prison design?  Psssht!  We can’t be friends anymore.

I was a different kind of nerd, and it’s taking me some time to adapt to this new field of Comedy Nerdom.

The point I’m making is twofold:

  • First, the fact of the matter is, I’ve been out of the game a little while, and I’m only getting back in.  I was never a super-fan of stand-up comedy.  I was always into sketch, and my background is in improv.  So give me a break.  Instead of making me feel like a moron for not knowing someone like Andy Kindler, maybe recommend I go see some of his stand-up on Letterman, or on YouTube, or at the Comedy Bar and;
  • Second, I saw Andy Kindler at the Comedy Bar last weekend

I didn’t get to take any photos, so for any of you who read this blog and like me a few weeks ago, have no idea who Andy Kindler is, feel free to check THIS out.

The program coordinator of our Comedy Program is apparently a big BIG fan of Andy Kindler’s and arranged to have him perform a special show only for the students in our program.  We packed the Comedy Bar pretty well to the brim.  After his hilarious performance (pausing briefly to explain why we didn’t understand some of his references, and why he wasn’t getting the response he wanted on certain jokes – which was hysterical,) Kindler held back for a Q&A with us Humber rats.

He answered a question about how his musical background (he was a classically-trained violinist) helped train his comic rhythm and warned of the damages of censoring one’s thoughts in the writing process (you could be losing a few good gems.)  Also, he mentioned not to worry too much about where your career is and to focus rather on improving on your own terms (OK, Mom & Dad? – //jokes// they’re actually really supportive.)

Kindler mentioned a lot of other good stuff too, but to tell you all about it would be like betraying a sacred comedy oath.  And by that I mean, I’m too tired to activate my brain to remember everything he talked about a WHOLE week ago…Yeesh.

If you were hoping this post would be a review of the Kindler show, I do apologize.  But you can go HERE for that.

Although I’ll try my best to give you my own review:

  • My throat hurt from laughing so much.  THE END.

Good enough?

Now go find out about Foucault.

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One thought on “Andy Kindler and the Panopticon

  1. I have to admit, I have reacted with a tilted head and a slack jaw when a comic reveals a massive blind spot on their radar. I’ve had to explain, to people who’ve done comedy for years, that a) Todd Barry is not the humour columnist from Florida, b) Marc Maron is a comic with a very successful podcast, c) the UCB is not a university in Vancouver. And I’m shocked every time.

    I react the same way that people react to me when I say I haven’t seen Star Wars. But the thing about that is: I still know Darth is Luke’s father, I still know what a Stormtrooper is, and I still know that Episode I sucked (because I did see that one). I have what I need.

    It’s nothing personal, just a different reality. Truth is, it’s pretty rare for someone to fall in love with comedy as an adult. The ages of 10-11 tend to be the impressionable years when it comes to comedy addiction, and the years following involve consuming thousands of hours of comedy. Then you end up spending all your time around people who did the same thing, and you live in this bubble.

    The cruel irony is that very little of it can be used on stage. Nobody has a tight 5 minutes on Oswalt’s latest Twitter war.

    Wise in more important areas you are.

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